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Old 02-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Eden, check out the two links I posted above, bro. It's the same process. If you're making dork armor outta cordovan and kydex (like, say, the ever popular Lorica Segmentata), your best bet may be to make a laminate of several pieces of thicker kydex that are glued and riveted together. Also, a quick Google search reveals: Pitbull Armory (metal and plastic armor for "SCA," whatever that is). Given that so many people do make the stuff already, perhaps you should steal some of their ideas?
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Eden: for armor that you just want to look cool, buy, cut up, and thermoform and rivet rubbermade tubs and trashcans. That's what the ironman/halo/etc armor crew use when they aren't using camping mat (also an awesome technique).

Go on therpf.com and check out the different iron man builds.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I Want to Make Real Armor

Those links will help a lot, I'm seriously thinking about (if the money keeps being steady) working on my pet armor project this summer. Pitbull Armory has some awesome armor and I've modeled a lot of my designs after his pieces.

The thing is, I'm not just looking for cool (I've made "bucket armor" before for the SCA), I want functional armor. I'd like to make armor for what it was originally made for, protecting you during battle. I was thinking of leather backing with riveted steel/metal/suitable alloy in a Lorica Segmentata style plan talked about. Chainmail under it and an arming coat under that. Chainmail I can make and I can buy a undercoat.

I think I'm going to make a thread on this and have the mods pull these posts out of it so I keep your thread on topic tele.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I Want to Make Real Armor

I've been wanting to make a suit of armor for myself and wondered if anyone has done any armor making on the board.

Moved from TK's Thread...

You guys are talking about kydex for easy molding, how easy are we talking? Zeraph talked about using it instead of leather for SCA heavy fighting armor, is it a good viable replacement for leather in armor making? I've been looking for a source of vegetable-tanned leather and have been coming up dry. I've got a suit of (personal) armor swimming around in my head that I want to make. I wanted to make it out of leather and scrap metal, but i'm down for any type of leather material if it can hold up to similar abuse. Where are do you get it and what kind of tools are needed to work with it?
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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1st, leather won't protect you from a real fight. Leather armor is a myth from old school DnD times. No one wore just leather armor. They'd wear chain or plate over it.

2nd Plan9- I find it amusing you call it dork armor, you wouldn't last 5 seconds against a knight from AZ (AZ because some places have become wussified). We wear 14 gauge steel helms and hit with ratan....and I've seen people still get knocked out cold. Last war I went to a guy broke his collar bone. I've gotten welts/bruises the size of a football. Its a lot rougher than sparring or football so don't make fun. It also teaches a few practical things for martial arts as well (you learn to freaking move when a greatsword is slamming down toward your shoulder with no armor there).

You'd get trashed so hard...There was this one guy who was talking trash to a knight so they went at it. The knight was hitting him so hard his armor was falling off in places.

edit: wait, I'm confused. Do you want to make real period armor that would help protect you from a real sword or realistic looking armor for the SCA?

Last edited by Zeraph; 02-17-2011 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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...and I'd also get my ass kicked in Halo. Your point? It's dork armor. Bearded dorks of all sizes dress up and beat each other with blunt swords.

Stop being so sensitive, Cuthbert. Keep talkin' shit and I'll pop you in the gorget.

/armor jokes

...

Leather armor has its place. According to the Medieval Arms & Armor (an art elective at my college, no shit). A thick leather jacket is certainly slash resistant. Think motorcycle jackets. Boiled leather armor consisted of sections of leather boiled until they were hard and fastened atop a regular leather garment. Studded leather armor featured pieces of metal (or scales) affixed to it so that it was lighter than chain mail and more flexible than plate armor. Leather is also a good buffer under metal armor in situations where something like an arming coat / doublet isn't sufficient padding such as at joints.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This IS a geeky project, I have no quams about that. I want make a set of armor that had no purpose other than saying, "I have a suit of real armor I can wear".

Watch it plan, those guys in armor might come threaten you with duct taped rattan sticks. "SALLY FORTH! *random gunfire* RUNAWAY RUN AWAy!!"

Zep, I Want to make armor to stand up to attack with a sword. I know no one just wore leather armor, but I thought about roman style steel plate armor with leather backing. Or brigidan style armor (forgive my spelling I'm typing this from my phone). Steel plates riveted between two pieces of leather.

When I get home tonight I'll sketch up my idea and post it on this thread.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Wait... why is this my thread?

This is Eden's thread.

Can't they fix that?
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Eden- the problem with making a suit of armor like that is that you need to make it out of tempered steel. Which is much harder but brittle. It'll also weigh close to 50lbs. You'll want 12 or 14 gauge. See the thing is in real fights in history a suit of armor was really only meant to stop one or two shots...then the fight was over and you got it repaired. Hence why we use more pliable materials in the SCA so we don't have to replace our armor after every practice.

I keep my stance that its not dork armor. Most people (or they should) make it historically accurate. Its rougher than football and more intellectual (I've learned a lot of history since joining). Unless you mean dork in a positive way. And there is no correlation to video games.

just got knocked the fuck out! go to the very end, like last 10 seconds. The rest of the fighting is fairly poor and boring.

The equipment looks cooler than other sports gear. It requires a great amount of athleticism. Its all over the world. It has a historic element. Oh, and we love to party and drink (yay topless belly dancers). How is it dorky? Don't get me wrong...there's a few fucking dorky ass weirdos that give us a bad name.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Relevant Threadjack
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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How is that relevant? They're nowhere near each other whatsoever.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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When did this turn into a pissing match? I've been in the SCA and even went to one really bad LARP event, but come on zeraph, that shit is geeky as hell. Is it fun? Yes. Is it dorky/geeky as hell? Yes. Is it for everyone? Hell no. Planster likes modern combat, we like ancient forms of combat. He likes M4s and body armor. We like swords and plate mail. Let's leave it at that.

Anyway, I understand the need for repair, but if I can learn how to make it from scratch, then I would know how to repair it. As for historically accurate, I could really care less. We have modern materials now, I'd like to lean more to leaner/stronger armor than "this is how they did it back then".

I'd also love to be able to test some of these ideas with real applications of force. Put it on a dummy and shoot an arrow at it, hit it with a sword, ect.

If this was for SCA fighting, I'd make a suit of light bucket armor and be done with it. This is different, this is a little pet project that may never get used, but I'd like to have it.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm not pissing. I just totally disagree its dorky. It has none of the qualifications of being dorky.

Anyway, I don't understand what you want out of your armor. First you say you care less about historically accurate. Then you say you want to test it vs historical weapons?

And repairs are costly and time consuming.

edit check out this site for a ton of accurate info on japanese armor.
http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/

edit: Or are you simply looking for armor that works well? If that's the case then layers. Outside make it aluminum. Next layer, leather. Then foam. You won't feel a thing when you get hit. You could replace the aluminum with steel but it will weigh like twice as much and not offer much more protection (the best thing about steel is that you don't need to fix it as much as aluminum.)

edit: altho you really only need two layers. The most common are aluminum and foam on the inside. Plastic (looks the most realistic believe it or not for japanese armor) with foam padding. Or leather with foam padding. I've only known one dude in the entire SCA to fight with steel armor. Personally I'm not a pain wuss so I just use one layer so its lighter and breathes better.

edit2: now if you simply mean you want modern armor for today's world then just go buy kevlar and a helmet made for it, like SWAT wears with possibly some ceramic inserts. Even though kevlar is weak toward slashing...no one is likely to attack you with a sword.

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Old 02-18-2011, 11:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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When I hear the words "Historically accurate" I see Period Nazis making sure everything is like it was in 4BC/800AD/1600's including poor design and flaws. As you said in your edit, I want something that works well. It doesn't have to look like it came from a certain time period, just protect the user vs weapons of various degrees.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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When I hear the words "Historically accurate" I see Period Nazis making sure everything is like it was in 4BC/800AD/1600's including poor design and flaws. As you said in your edit, I want something that works well. It doesn't have to look like it came from a certain time period, just protect the user vs weapons of various degrees.
Ok, that's an odd goal, but to be clear you want a suit of armor that can withstand a real sword blow? Use 12 gauge tempered steel. You'll need a small armory to make it though. And it will take a *long* time. My first suit which was a rush job took me about a week or 84 hours. And that was with something easier to work with (plastic).

edit keep in mind it wont do shit vs bullets. a .38 +P would probably go right through.

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Old 02-18-2011, 02:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm not pissing. I just totally disagree its dorky. It has none of the qualifications of being dorky.


Zeraph, you are delusional. SCA is the definition of dorky, and the fact that dorks hurt themselves during their dorking is not going to convince anyone otherwise. I could build a custom nerf gun that would knock you unconscious or shoot through a piece of plywood--would that make nerf gun modification any less dorky?

Don't be so defensive. It's dorky. It's cool though, cuz you have wenches.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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What kind of battle would you like your armor tailored to deal with? Are we talking about swordplay, if so what kinds? Are we talking about daggers? Arrows, if so what kind? Bullets? Bombs? Chemical and biological weapons? Zombie apocalypse?
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Zeraph, you are delusional. SCA is the definition of dorky, and the fact that dorks hurt themselves during their dorking is not going to convince anyone otherwise. I could build a custom nerf gun that would knock you unconscious or shoot through a piece of plywood--would that make nerf gun modification any less dorky?

Don't be so defensive. It's dorky. It's cool though, cuz you have wenches.
I guess agree to disagree. Because modifying a nerfgun into a weapon = awesome and not dorky at all.

What's the dorky part of SCA? Let's break it down. Is it the costumes and historical background? And the small bit of acting? Well then I guess movie stars are huge freaking dorks making millions of dollars.

Is it the fighting? Has martial arts and strategy suddenly become dorky? I didn't get that memo. Poor Bruce Lee, never knew he was a huge dork. Such a big dork he invented his own method and became famous.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:33 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Two words.

Titanium Rules!
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Two words.

Titanium Rules!
There's actually something wrong with titanium for armor, I forget exactly. I think its too brittle.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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There could be, it's seems like it could be too brittle. Then again my two Titanium hammers have no problems beating on anything I hit with them.

How about the new composite Aluminum Glass? It's supposed to be stronger than a steel, light and transparent. Go Commando underneath and mind-fuck your opponents.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There could be, it's seems like it could be too brittle. Then again my two Titanium hammers have no problems beating on anything I hit with them.

How about the new composite Aluminum Glass? It's supposed to be stronger than a steel, light and transparent. Go Commando underneath and mind-fuck your opponents.
My sister would be better at explaining this since she's a materials engineer. It's not about hardness. But (and there's official scientific words here I can't remember and am leaving out) a thin sheet of titanium such as on armor, would be much more brittle than steel and prone to cracking. Its about the ability to absorb. Steel is a better material than titanium. The only reason titanium got such a good name was because it was lighter than steel and harder than aluminum. So its used a lot in space missions. If it weren't for that, it'd have very few uses.

Also, are you sure you have titanium and not some alloy? Almost nothing is pure titanium. Because alloys are better.

Not sure about the glass thing, but that sounds like a safety hazard.

PS Also I have no idea how the average person would cut and mold either of those materials without cracking. I have a tough time molding aluminum and that's soft...

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Old 02-19-2011, 02:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I guess agree to disagree. Because modifying a nerfgun into a weapon = awesome and not dorky at all.

What's the dorky part of SCA? Let's break it down. Is it the costumes and historical background? And the small bit of acting? Well then I guess movie stars are huge freaking dorks making millions of dollars.

Is it the fighting? Has martial arts and strategy suddenly become dorky? I didn't get that memo. Poor Bruce Lee, never knew he was a huge dork. Such a big dork he invented his own method and became famous.
Zeraph... you are grasping at straws for your defense of the SCA. When a group of 30+ people dress up in "period" clothes (I use that term loosely because of wanna be pirates and overweight chainmail chicks), pretend to be a 15th century irish pirate named "Captain Flemmish of Wales", hit each other with swords made out of duct taped rattan sticks (or light fighting with fencing foils and bucklers made out of road signs), and have a hierarchy of people who are "King/Queen/Duke/Knights" who's day jobs are managing a kinko's.... that shit is really fucking geeky.

I really like the SCA, it's fun, you get to be someone else for a weekend and pretend to be knights of the realm while drinking and camping. It's awesome, but incredibly geeky. Don't fight it Zeraph, just realize you are a big fucking geek for doing this. There's no other way around it. I'll defend the right to dress up in tunics and go play knights in the woods for a weekend, but I'm not trying to fight about how dorky it is. 'Cause it's one of the geekiest things you can do.

Embrace the geekhood, it's almost more mainstream as it once was.

At least you arn't LARPing.

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Yeah, I'm trying to do this in the workplace at the back of my house, I don't have the money to invest in materials that wouldn't be able to be worked at a weekend warrior level. Like to keep this in the realm of pet project.

*****

I've thought about designs like this, something simple like brigandine armor.



This is what I have in mind, but instead of hard plastic, use steel with leather backings. Same style.

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Old 02-19-2011, 02:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Eden: Dude I am a geek, but for different reasons. I stand firmly by my belief. Maybe its worse were you live. Here in AZ we aint panzyaing around hehe. Are parties are so legendary 18-22 year olds come out just for the night. They don't have a tent or anything. They just come to party. We seem to have very different SCAs.

From your words actors, theatre, UFC, boxing, and Bruce Lee are geeky dorks. If I were you i wouldn't tell mike tyson that to his face

---------- Post added at 03:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:13 PM ----------

protip? and this isn't me, this is my mentor who's been in the sca for 25 years. Lose the shoulder pads. They'll slow you down more than they'll protect you. I've never used em. My mentor hasn't for years.

Oh, and how is the SCA different than any other martial art? They're all outdated. They all wear outdated clothing. Seriously, what is the geeky part of the SCA? So far no one has been able to tell me.

---------- Post added at 03:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:20 PM ----------

PS and the shoulder isn't a vital spot. If you want to be good go as light weight as possible and only cover the vitals. You should see my mentors armor...Its almost paper thin leather :P.

PPS that's nice workmanship. But where is that plastic version supposed to be from? its not japanese. Its nothing I recognize.

---------- Post added at 03:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:21 PM ----------

also the other one is more of an undercoat not armor (something you'd wear under armor)...
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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LordEden: Do you want the armor to be for show or functional? If functional, what would you want it to defend against?
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Oh, one more thing. Sorry, i'm disabled, hard to order my thoughts sometimes. Maybe youre a dork. Maybe the entire state you live in that does SCA are dorks. But that does not logically follow that all SCAers are dorks or that I am a dork. My friend hooked up with two chicks at one war and had a threesome. Is that dorky? I have sex at most over night events. Even my sidekick (haha, he's not, he technically better than me but he's shorter and I like to rile him up because I'm better at H2H) gets laid. There are about as many hot girls that go as there are in real life, maybe slightly skewed toward hotness because of the night goers (who only stay for a night and party all night at the drum circles...and are looking for a warm tent to stay the night).
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:42 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Zeraph... Just because parties are awesome (I've been to my fair share of awesome SCA parties) doesn't make it less geekier. Also... Martial Arts =/ SCA. Sca is not real fighting, light or heavy. Fencers don't fight like light fighters and those people in the 12th-15th century who had to swing a sword to fight, they didn't fight like heavy fighters. Granted there are some amazing swordmen(women) in the SCA, but that's like 5% of the fighters out there. Real fencers make fun of how SCA people fight and most of the heavy fighters out there are just swinging wildly for the fences.

It's not real combat, yes you can get hurt, but it's not real. It's a watered down form of combat that is just slightly better than LARPers.

Actors act to put on a show for the crowd. UFC/Boxers fight for money and championships. SCA people pretend to be these characters they made up so they can "be someone else" for a weekend. That's why it's geeky, it's not for a show, tv, theator... it's for themselves. They escape the real world using the guise that "we are recreating history" when really they are just trying to live in a fantasy world because they don't like the "modern" world.

Sorry Zeraph, from one former Scadian to another, you are a geek for being in the SCA. There is no way to argue your way out of that.

*****

Again Zeraph, this is NOT SCA armor. The way I would make SCA armor and how I'd make armor for bladed weapon combat is completely different.

*****

Will: Melee weapons; ie. Slashing weapons (knives, daggers, swords) and some protection again blunt weapons (tho that is more a force distribution than anything). Arrow protection would be nice, but from what I've seen on the 'net, plate mail over chainmail over an arming jacket won't stop a bodkin arrow shot at less than 100-75 yards.

Mainly it is made for defense again slashing and blunt trauma.

*****

Zeraph... you are bring up the fact you get laid at SCA events as proof that you are not a dork (you can use geek if you feel like you have better social skills than someone who is a "dork") for being in the SCA? Wow... I mean... Wow.....

You know what Zeraph, you are the cat's meow. The bee's knees. The hippest cat in town.

/donearguing
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:20 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ok, I know for sure now it is quite different state to state. Come to estrella some year and find out. BDSM groups set their calenders for that date.

And alllll martial arts (as in the dojo sense, not the military) are watered down. I've been in what you'd consider "real" MA since I was 8. I know what works and what doesn't. Most of what they teach doesn't. Its the same as the SCA. You learn to be tougher, you learn to be aware of your surroundings, you learn combos, you learn strategies both 1v1 and 500 vs 500. If youre smart it doesn't matter what weapon you're using you can learn from the experience.

Most people *I* know use strategy and are very skilled. And are not just swinging wildly. Only the newbies do that, and they waste their energy.

It is soooo far from wiffle larping here you have no idea. Most people can't take the pain here. I'm guessing youre in one of the wussified states.

No shit its not real. What a stupid thing to say.

The "characters they make up" are researched carefully and set to a time period before 1599. Anyone else is a poser. To register a name here there is a panel of judges that researches it and makes sure it appears in several old texts. It takes about 6 months.

Seriously, my SCA sounds *nothing* like your SCA. I don't know why you don't get that.

Actually here we draw a pretty big crowd. I've had my picture taken by several times by strangers in random wars. A lot of what we do is for the crowd. So your statement is completely false there.

---------- Post added at 04:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:07 PM ----------


Keep your guard even. I'm big (6'2" 220ish) so that's like an 8 inch bruise.

That ain't no wiffle LARPing. Don't even say its close to that. That happened during a practice at about half strength. I kept fighting. So go shove it.

This is like an argument for a favorite sports team...only I'm on it and have bled for it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Eden, you should totally make armor as seen in The Road Warrior.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:42 AM   #31 (permalink)
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You know I always wondered how much Tire Armor counted in D&D. +2 to protection, -5 to saving throw vs. Bad Mel Gibson Lines.

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Will: This isn't a project I want to drop a lot of money on, but I will buy the tools/materials if I feel like I keep doing this for fun.

I'm going to spend the money, but I don't have a price range yet.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:57 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Eden, I just wanted to pop in here to give you my blessing on this project.

I myself wouldn't be worried about authenticity or whatever, just make what you want to make with whatever means you see fit.

It's funny to think of the combat-readiness. You were talking about the arrow stoppage. I'm currently reading the Iliad, which takes place during the Bronze Age. When the towering Telamonian Aias of the Argives faces Prince Hector of Troy in single combat, Homer describes his shield as a tower itself. It's a layer of bronze backed by eight layers of ox leather. This nine-layered shield managed to stop a spear cast by one of Troy's greatest and most feared heroes, and there were still two layers to spare.

Now, I'm not offering this as a technical fact or anything, merely just an inspiration. Have you considered using leather or other materials for multiple layering in specific areas in your designs? You know, to provide extra protection to certain vitals or sensitive areas?
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I was curious because I've been fascinated to see developments made in ceramics over the past 10 years. Current ceramic armor is nearly as strong as diamond and can stop dead straight shots from only inches away, let alone strike and stab weaponry and arrows. The weapons expert brought in to be a technical advisor on The Dark Knight came up with the idea of hundreds of ceramic plates all weaved into an elastic body suit to provide maximum surface area protection without sacrificing movement. Obviously, though, such options would be quite pricey.

Still, the same theory could be expanded to include cheaper, metal options like steel or titanium. The issue is that something like steel is much heavier than modern ceramics, which will slow down movement the better the coverage. Titanium is lighter than steel, but it's more expensive.

I think the most practical thing you can do is to create a custom long-sleeve shirt and pair of pants with inserts like that of a 'battle bra' sewn in. The idea would be for it to be form-fitting, but to maintain your freedom of movement by having elastic or looser joints. You can do the classic shoulders, chest plate, stomach plates, upper back plate, lower back plates, upper arm plates, lower arm plates, neck guard kind of thing. When you've got the thing together, you can price different insert options and go with whatever you think is functional but within your price range. Combine that with a real tactical helmet w/ face guard and steel-reinforced boots and I think you could be a force to reckon with should you meet someone on the field of battle. You can probably get away with a decent pair of motorcycle gloves instead of trying to get something too ridiculous.

What kind of melee weapon are you looking to use? Something quick like a katana or something with power like a broadsword? Or are you more of an axe or mace type?
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:53 PM   #34 (permalink)
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BG: I figured you would give your blessing on this, after I make mine, is there going to be a commission for armor for you?

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Authenticity is the least of my worries, I actually think it's going to be best to mix and match the best parts of armor from all the areas of history. Don't tie myself down to one section of time, pull everything I can from all the thousands of years of armor production.

From what I've been reading, seems like layers of the same material is more on the fact that they didn't really have the materials to make lighter and stronger armor. They used what they had and worked it to their best abilities.

I know for sure I'll be wearing an arming jacket under chainmail. The chainmail I can handle (I've made it before), but what goes on top of that is what I'm working on.

I think the biggest problem I'm going to have is deciding on the weight issue. I could (in theory) build a complete suit of armor that protects all areas of my body and layered on the vital areas. This would WAY to heavy for me to wear even if my body was in the best shape it could be in. You have to weight the protection/weight ratio. Lighter armor means you weight less and are more agile, heavier armor means more protection but less mobility/endurance. If I was a bigger guy, then I'd layer the armor on. I'm not so, it's a trial and error thing.

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Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
I was curious because I've been fascinated to see developments made in ceramics over the past 10 years. Current ceramic armor is nearly as strong as diamond and can stop dead straight shots from only inches away, let alone strike and stab weaponry and arrows. The weapons expert brought in to be a technical advisor on The Dark Knight came up with the idea of hundreds of ceramic plates all weaved into an elastic body suit to provide maximum surface area protection without sacrificing movement. Obviously, though, such options would be quite pricey.
Yeah, there are some really amazing materials out there that I could make a really awesome suit of armor, but that's getting way out of my ballpark when it comes to price and the ability to work with the material.

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Still, the same theory could be expanded to include cheaper, metal options like steel or titanium. The issue is that something like steel is much heavier than modern ceramics, which will slow down movement the better the coverage. Titanium is lighter than steel, but it's more expensive.

I think the most practical thing you can do is to create a custom long-sleeve shirt and pair of pants with inserts like that of a 'battle bra' sewn in. The idea would be for it to be form-fitting, but to maintain your freedom of movement by having elastic or looser joints. You can do the classic shoulders, chest plate, stomach plates, upper back plate, lower back plates, upper arm plates, lower arm plates, neck guard kind of thing. When you've got the thing together, you can price different insert options and go with whatever you think is functional but within your price range. Combine that with a real tactical helmet w/ face guard and steel-reinforced boots and I think you could be a force to reckon with should you meet someone on the field of battle. You can probably get away with a decent pair of motorcycle gloves instead of trying to get something too ridiculous.
You are talking about something like this? Basically what they use for BMX and motorcross style of events?



That is an idea I thought of, basically a stronger base than an arming jacket and attaching leather/steel plates to vital areas. It's a great idea, but this is the problem when I think about manufacture and use. I think the repairs on a single piece suit would be higher than separate pieces. If the base jacket would be torn, would this make the rest of the armor unusable? If my left elbow protector was broken and unwearable, would it make the rest of the suit unwearable? If it was a separate piece, then I would take that off and just not be protected in that area.

I think that's a great idea for concealable armor, light enough to be able to go under a heavy coat or cloak (if we are talking about armor, I can say cloak), but not as great for a battle were you knew you were getting into a fight.

I also thought about tactical equipment and how it's protection boils over to melee combat from protecting from bullets. Would a riot helmet protect my head better than a modern reproduction of a older helmet?

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What kind of melee weapon are you looking to use? Something quick like a katana or something with power like a broadsword? Or are you more of an axe or mace type?
I'm thinking this is leaning towards a heavier slashing weapon like a broadsword than a more "slash-heavy" curved blade (like a saber or katana). It would protect from impact that a heavier sword would inflict, but not enough for something like a mace/hammer. That would mean layers and shock protection more than what is needed for slashing.

That's another toss up like the weight/protection ratio, how much do I want to protect and what am I willing to sacrifice for it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Something to throw out real quick before I go to bed since you guys are talking modern materials: d3o would actually make a really nice layer in this, especially in certain joints where you just can't have hard protection. Under some kevlar at the wrists and whatnot would give you a nice blunt force trauma resistance.

For anyone not familiar with the stuff remember when you mix cornstarch and water and get goop that goes hard when you try to poke or hit it too fast/hard? Same concept with something like rubber. Makes for decent bicycle gloves, ok helmets even (by itself), and works very nicely as a layer in impact protection with something else. You get a flexible material that hardens on impact.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:17 AM   #36 (permalink)
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You are talking about something like this? Basically what they use for BMX and motorcross style of events?
Yes! Older methods of creating armor prioritized defense far above maneuverability.Have you ever worn medieval armor? It's extremely heavy and incredibly difficult to move in. The idea would be to basically get the armor as close to your body as possible to reduce having to fight against the weight of the armor and increase speed and control over your center of gravity. I got the idea from my little brother's motorcycle jacket, which has everything from a built in ceramic vertebrae to elbow guards that restrict the way his arms can bend to within normal human movement so his arms can't be twisted or bent the wrong way in a crash. It's really a brilliant piece of engineering.
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That is an idea I thought of, basically a stronger base than an arming jacket and attaching leather/steel plates to vital areas. It's a great idea, but this is the problem when I think about manufacture and use. I think the repairs on a single piece suit would be higher than separate pieces. If the base jacket would be torn, would this make the rest of the armor unusable? If my left elbow protector was broken and unwearable, would it make the rest of the suit unwearable? If it was a separate piece, then I would take that off and just not be protected in that area.
Tearing is going to be unlikely, imho. Have you ever worn and handled a ballistic vest or a high quality motorcycle jacket?

Somewhere between these two is what I'm talking about, basically.


The pieces are connected with very, very heavy fabric, the same kind which is used in bulletproof vests, and you can have leather between the plates to further protect you from slashes that could cut the fabric.
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I think that's a great idea for concealable armor, light enough to be able to go under a heavy coat or cloak (if we are talking about armor, I can say cloak), but not as great for a battle were you knew you were getting into a fight.
My main thought is about how inefficient movement is inside of traditional armor. The best option would be to get as close to the overall protection of armor without having to sacrifice speed and range of motion. I don't know how many fights you've been in, but speed and accuracy are basically the whole game. If you're fighting against a thick metal breast plate, how much power, speed and accuracy can you really muster for the actual fight?
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I also thought about tactical equipment and how it's protection boils over to melee combat from protecting from bullets. Would a riot helmet protect my head better than a modern reproduction of a older helmet?
Absolutely. Check this out.

The mask, along with the helmet, are designed to protect from fast moving projectiles like those which come from IEDs. They can hold off rocks, glass and shrapnel, which tells me they can almost certainly deal with something like a sword. It may not look as cool as a Spartan style helmet, but it's going to be lighter and will almost certainly protect you better.
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I'm thinking this is leaning towards a heavier slashing weapon like a broadsword than a more "slash-heavy" curved blade (like a saber or katana). It would protect from impact that a heavier sword would inflict, but not enough for something like a mace/hammer. That would mean layers and shock protection more than what is needed for slashing.
If you're going to be swinging a cruciform around, you'll need as much strength as you can muster. I think that reinforces my suggestion about lighter armor and more speed and maneuverability.
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That's another toss up like the weight/protection ratio, how much do I want to protect and what am I willing to sacrifice for it.
This might have to end up being experiential. No two warriors are the same, after all.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I'm loving WillRavel, Armorsmith.

*eats popcorn*

Keep going. I'll chime in later.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:32 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
Yes! Older methods of creating armor prioritized defense far above maneuverability.Have you ever worn medieval armor? It's extremely heavy and incredibly difficult to move in. The idea would be to basically get the armor as close to your body as possible to reduce having to fight against the weight of the armor and increase speed and control over your center of gravity. I got the idea from my little brother's motorcycle jacket, which has everything from a built in ceramic vertebrae to elbow guards that restrict the way his arms can bend to within normal human movement so his arms can't be twisted or bent the wrong way in a crash. It's really a brilliant piece of engineering.

Tearing is going to be unlikely, imho. Have you ever worn and handled a ballistic vest or a high quality motorcycle jacket?
I really like the idea of that, it would cut down on manufacture time and would help with wearing it over long peiods of time. My two biggest questions would be, 1) What base would I start with? A premade suit of BMX armor or try to find a similar base jacket and attach the plates myself? 2) If I did a coat/jacket/undershirt and did this, would it be better to attach plates permentally or to do it with a sleve style of plate holder.

I've never wore a ballistic vest or a high quality motorcycle jacket, but I know what you are talking about. I've got some ideas for fast/cheap armor, but not for my first suit of armor.

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The pieces are connected with very, very heavy fabric, the same kind which is used in bulletproof vests, and you can have leather between the plates to further protect you from slashes that could cut the fabric.
I wonder how hard it is to work with those types of materials and if it in the realm of weekend warrior to buy the suits to rip apart.

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The mask, along with the helmet, are designed to protect from fast moving projectiles like those which come from IEDs. They can hold off rocks, glass and shrapnel, which tells me they can almost certainly deal with something like a sword. It may not look as cool as a Spartan style helmet, but it's going to be lighter and will almost certainly protect you better.
I like that, a helmet was going to be something I'd buy anyway. Good sturdy helmets are hard to make if you are not a blacksmith. If I wanted style I'll just attach a faux-mohawk to the top of it.

Legonnaire'd!

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If you're going to be swinging a cruciform around, you'll need as much strength as you can muster. I think that reinforces my suggestion about lighter armor and more speed and maneuverability.

This might have to end up being experiential. No two warriors are the same, after all.
I misread your statement, I thought you were still asking about what weapons I was going to defend against. I would be using a 32' blade or smaller, maybe a Gladius style sword. I'd also be using a buckler style shield around the same size of a stop sign.

I do want to go lighter, as I'm a smaller guy and need to be able to move faster than my adversary.

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I'd love to get my hands on this, cut resistant fabric. This is something I didn't think of, Fencing Vests. Those coats are made to protect the user from slashing weapons. I wonder how much something like this costs and how flexable it is.

Also, they have ballistic fabric available, tho god knows how much that will cost.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #39 (permalink)
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1) What base would I start with? A premade suit of BMX armor or try to find a similar base jacket and attach the plates myself?
Something like this would make a good jumping-off point:

Of course that's not going to be enough, but at least you get shoulder, elbow, and forearm protection. It might be good to combine a jacket like that with a used ballistic vest to protect your abdomen, chest, and back. You may also want to get better forearm protection because they're going to be so close to the action. So you'd have two pieces as the base, shoulder and arm armor and an armored vest.
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2)If I did a coat/jacket/undershirt and did this, would it be better to attach plates permentally or to do it with a sleve style of plate holder.
I'm starting to think the best option for the armor itself is elastic bands and velcro. I'm more of a hand-to-hand combat kinda guy, but I have to imagine there's a ton of movement in melee combat. I wouldn't want heavy plates swinging around, throwing off momentum and balance, so it stands to reason you're going to want your armor as close to your body at all times. Motorcycle armor I've seen seems to follow this same logic. Check out these forearm and shin guards:

Those buckle right on to your body and are held tightly in place by several elastic straps. Imagine if, instead of cheap plastic, those were steel.

Maybe what you do is have the ballistic vest, with some shoulder protection on top of that, and then you have a series of pieces which you attach independently, everything from upper and lower arms to thighs and shins.
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I misread your statement, I thought you were still asking about what weapons I was going to defend against. I would be using a 32' blade or smaller, maybe a Gladius style sword. I'd also be using a buckler style shield around the same size of a stop sign.
The gladuis is a one-handed weapon. Will you want two of them, or are you interested in also having a shield? Because having a shield will change things significantly.
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I do want to go lighter, as I'm a smaller guy and need to be able to move faster than my adversary.
I understand.

I'm thinking there are people in this thread who have experience with military body armor. I suspect their knowledge of this would be very, very helpful.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:23 PM   #40 (permalink)
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SCA aside and all, but let me get this straight. You're using moto gear and a plastic base for armor to stop real blades? Please have a camera and an ambulance standing by.

This is no joke. By no means try this on your self.
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